Mac: Playing media is easier with VLC
I am by no means a video guy. I've got friends that understand all the variations in compression technology and formats, the best codecs to use and everything else. When they go into "video speak" my eyes glaze over and I imagine myself on a beach somewhere nice and warm until their mouths stop moving and I can change the subject.
When it comes to video, especially when I'm just viewing it on my computer, I just want the stuff to play. It happened to me on Windows and it's now happened to me on my Mac - someone sends me a media format and QuickTime can't play it. I don't know why, nor do I really care all that much. Sure, I'll change my tune at some point when I start getting into video editing on my Mac but that's tomorrow's challenge. Right now what I need is something that let's me play any of the files that people throw at me. Period.
With that simple requirement on my mind and a MOV file that I couldn't watch I looked around for a cheap (free) way to view different video formats on my machine. I found VLC pretty quickly.
Suffice it to say, VLC worked great for me. I threw a couple of different files at it and it played them great. The list of file formats that VLC supports is quite long and hit all of the types I had been struggling with.